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Australians can ill afford a local maritime shipping sector

IN Australia, the author of the Coalition's competition review has demanded Labour 'consider informed cost-benefit analysis on the deregulation of shipping rules, likening the outdated and anti-competitive regime to Qantas' one-time monopoly on international air travel,' reported Melbourne's Financial Review

Australians can ill afford a local maritime shipping sector

IN Australia, the author of the Coalition's competition review has demanded Labour 'consider informed cost-benefit analysis on the deregulation of shipping rules, likening the outdated and anti-competitive regime to Qantas' one-time monopoly on international air travel,' reported Melbourne's Financial Review

27 January 2019 - 19:06

IN Australia, the author of the Coalition's competition review has demanded Labour 'consider informed cost-benefit analysis on the deregulation of shipping rules, likening the outdated and anti-competitive regime to Qantas' one-time monopoly on international air travel,' reported Melbourne's Financial Review.

Reserve Bank board member and Melbourne Business School dean Ian Harper recommended restrictions on coastal shipping be removed in his landmark 2015 report, along with an end to similar restrictions for the aviation industry.



There are just 13 Australian-registered vessels, down from 30 in 2006.



'It comes down to the fact that restrictions of this type raise the costs faced by Australian exporters and by domestic Australian producers who are seeking to move goods domestically,' Professor Harper was quoted as saying.



'The result of which is a raising of the costs that either domestic consumers or Australian exporters face, [limiting] the jobs they can create because it is more expensive for them to move goods from Australia around the coast.'



Although, it is unlikely the Coalition will pass an overhaul of existing rules before the May election, Professor Harper told The Australian Financial Review the debate should include consideration of economic benefits created through reform.



He said reforming the cabotage rules was in the interest of consumers but that informed modelling could best determine if it would serve the national interest.



'You subject these sort of regulatory interventions to a cost-benefit analysis, in order to determine if it really is true that the best way to promote Australia's defence interests, if that's your argument.'



According to Maritime Industry Australia chief executive Teresa Lloyd, a lack of investment and policy focus showed politicians had effectively decided Australia couldn't afford a local maritime sector, putting at risk land-based capabilities and jobs.


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